Working remotely has become the new normal for most of us in recent years, but it can also come with its own challenges. When it comes to maintaining good mental health, it’s actually a lot like taking care of your physical health; consistent progress is key, no matter if you slow down or are feeling great. And since startup owners often prioritise business health over mental health, we wanted to share some reminders and suggestions to take care of your mind this week. According to a study undertaken by Opinium and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, “92 percent of small business owners have experienced mental health problems over the past two years.” (Forbes)
1. Set a schedule: Having a set routine can help you maintain a sense of structure and reliability. This can set you up positively for each day of the week. It also eliminates the stress of frequent unpredictability. Try to stick to a regular schedule for work, breaks, and leisure activities.Tools like Asana or Monday can help you to schedule and prioritise your weekly tasks and keep you on track.
2. Create a dedicated work space: Having a designated work area can help you separate work from leisure and relaxation. Make sure your work space is comfortable, well-lit, and free from distractions. If possible, try not to work in your bedroom/on your bed – this makes disassociating the space from your job super difficult.
3. Take regular breaks: Working remotely can make it easy to get caught up in work and lose track of time. Take regular breaks to stretch, step outside, or do something else to refresh your mind. What’s the chance you work through lunch/eat at your desk or don’t eat breakfast to ‘get ahead’? Setting aside time to nourish your body, nourishes your mind.
4. Stay connected: Working at home can result in feeling isolated and disconnected from friends, colleagues and even nature. Make sure to stay connected through video calls, messaging or social media. You could also organise to meetup for lunch/coffee if there’s a halfway point between your locations, or have a meeting in person.
5. Prioritise self-care: Taking care of yourself is important for maintaining good mental health. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and engage in physical activity. One hour of exercise a day is fantastic, but even spending 20-30 minutes doing an activity is a great start to establishing a routine. Actually mark this out on your work calendar to help yourself prioritise it.
6. Manage your time: Time management is important to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed. Set priorities and manage your time effectively by creating to-do lists, using time tracking tools, and setting boundaries.
7. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga can help you reduce stress and increase focus. You can find yoga tutorials on Youtube and use podcasts like Headspace Radio or The Daily Shine to get into the basics of a meditative practice.
8. Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Create a schedule, set working hours and stick to them, make sure to take regular breaks and disconnect from work after hours. Turn off your email/work platform notifications to avoid last-minute requests taking precedence in your mind after work.
9. Seek help if needed: If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, seek help from a therapist or counsellor. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
10. Have hobbies and activities outside of work: Engaging in hobbies and activities can help you relax and recharge, improving your overall mental well-being. It also allows you to change your mindset after a long day and focus on something different.
This is a reminder that taking care of your mental health isn’t impossible because you’re busy. Often, it just means switching up your routines and habits so that you work better practices into your daily life. Remember, you are human, and as a business owner it’s easy to forget that. Be gentle on yourself this week!